The Good News of Jesus comes in two parts: forgiveness of our sins through His sacrifice on the Cross: and a new life from now to eternity. In other words, pardon from the past, and power for the present.

And that’s stunningly fantastic news, isn’t it? But I read something the other day that went like this:

Present day Christianity tends to preach more about pardon from the past than power for the present. Jesus came not only to forgive us, but to set us on fire for His purpose and mission on the earth now!

There’s quite some truth in that. Little wonder, though, that we focus so much on His sacrifice for us on that bloody Cross. It is, after all, the greatest act of love in all eternity. And so yes, we should tarry at Calvary, overwhelmed by the magnitude of God’s love, our hearts filled with gratitude, our eyes filled with tears.

But we also need to walk from that hill to the empty tomb to encounter the risen Christ, because He wants to fill us with power: The power to be holy. The power to do His will. The power to love others as He first loved us. Writes the Apostle Paul from his prison cell on death row:

Philippians 3:10 All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him from death. I want to share in his sufferings and be like him even in his death.

From that dark place, Paul encouraged, he admonished, he praised God with such power that God still speaks to us through him today.

By all means, lay hold of the wondrous pardon for your past that you have in Christ. But like Paul, may you yearn to know Christ and the power that raised Him from death.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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